SPIDER-MAN: DYING WISH (Marvel, 2013; Hardcover)
Collects Amazing Spider-Man Nos. 698-700 (cover dates January- February, 2013)
Writers: Dan Slott and issue 700 back-up stories by J.M. DeMatteis and Jen Van Meter
Artists: Richard Elson (698), Humberto Ramos (699, 700), Giuseppe Camuncoli, and Stephanie Buscema ( issue 700 back-up stories)
Before we begin, I must clarify that I consider myself a Dan Slott fan, going back to the Spider-Man/ Human Torch mini-series that I bought in digest form way back when. With that in mind, let's proceed. So here we are, the much maligned, highly controversial conclusion to The Amazing Spider-Man. I've avoided as many spoilers as I could, but the cat got out of the bag anyways. Oh well. Things start out well enough with issue 698, a great story with great artwork by Richard Elson with an insanely clever twist ending.
|Artwork by Richard Elson|
It all goes downhill fast though, as we get the godawful Humberto Ramos' “artwork” for the next two issues. Seriously, this guy is the worst artist to work on the title out of 51 years of publication. That's quite a distinction, actually, but not one that I would want.
Spoilers in the next two paragraphs!!! You have been warned. Doctor Octopus has tricked Spider-Man into wearing the helmet that he controlled his Octobots with. This has enabled Doc Ock to get a copy of Spider-Man's brainwaves and arrange for a mental transference. Peter Parker's mind will co-occupy Dr. Octopus' brain, while Doc Ock's will co-occupy Peter's. This allows them full access to each others memories, allowing Ock to pull the wool over everyone's eyes. It also allows Peter to see the memories of Doctor Octopus through Ock's eyes, including the “wedding night” with his Aunt May from issues 131-132, seen in a flashback in issue 699. It's implied and not shown, but still. Shame on you, Dan Slott. This is adolescent fanboy pandering if I've ever seen it. I like to think that there might be a 10 or 11 year old kid reading this title since Spider-Man is plastered all over lunch boxes and t-shirts at Target, etc. It's this type of crap that reinforces the negative stereotypes of this hobby.
|"Artwork" by Humberto Ramos. PUKE.|
So try as Spider-Man might, Ock has pulled out all of the stops and Peter dies in Octopus' failing body. Before he dies, he somehow forces his memories of responsibility with Ock through some lameass shared brain link, making Octopus vow to do good as Spider-Man and as Peter Parker. This is horrible, probably the worst ending that I have ever read. I will not be buying Superior Spider-Man. This is my jumping off point. I'd like to thank Dan Slott for doing something that I'd never thought that I would do: quit buying new Spider-Man comics. Congratulations, jerkoff! End spoilers. If I believed in the concept of souls, mine would be weeping after reading this atrocity.
The back-up stories are a complete waste of time and energy. Pointless stories that served no purpose other than adding to the page count. Sorry to be so negative and cynical, but it really pains me to see a character that I've loved my entire life dealt such a horrendous blow. This book is a disservice to the legacy of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 1 out of 5.
The OCD zone- These Premiere Hardcovers keep getting thinner and thinner.
Paper rating: 3.75 out of 5. The paper in these books has gradually gotten as thin as my hair. The march toward digital continues. It's like the last days of vinyl during the dawn of the CD: if you aren't willing to move to the new format (in this case digital comics), then we will make your preferred format so cheap and crappy that you'll be compelled to move. Vinyl was down to 80g toward the end there. This paper, while a coated stock, is starting to feel chinsy. I'd rather pay a higher price than get a crappier product. Your mileage may vary.
Once books are nearly extinct, publishers will do what record companies do. Put out “deluxe edition” books at twice the price. 180G used to be the norm for records. Now you pay twice as much for what used to be standard fare. Like those “giant-size” toilet paper rolls, which were in truth the old pre-1975 roll sizes brought out a higher price.
Binding rating: 4 out of 5. Glued binding in a thin hardcover. Nothing to write home about.
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